We’re now just days away from the release of Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan, albeit on Disney+ Premier Access instead of in theaters. Last February, Disney Press published several movie tie-in books, including a prequel and a picture book. In anticipation of seeing the film again, I read through the full novelization, a great way for fans to spend more time in Mulan’s world.
Mulan’s father has always recognized his daughter’s remarkable chi, but she doesn’t fit the mold of what a woman should be in society. When her elderly father is drafted to serve in the army again and with no favors coming her way from the matchmaker, Mulan takes her father’s place disguised as a boy named Hua Jun. But while she yields her father’s sword, Mulan finds it difficult to live up to the last of the three engraved mantras: “Loyal, Brave, True.”
Based on the screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, and Elizabeth Martin, this novelization by Elizabeth Rudnick includes some elements that were cut from the film. Whether they were filmed or not is unknown, but this version of the story includes several deleted characters. Two thieves that Mulan comes across on her way to join the army aren’t seen in the film, but have a fairly significant role here, even coming back into the story later on. And Mulan’s relationship with her guardian phoenix is more drawn out in these pages where the bird initially appears to Mulan in a less majestic form and even helps save her from one of the villains, Xianniang.
This softcover adaptation of Mulan includes eight pages of photos from the film in the center to help readers visualize what they’ll experience on screen in the final film. It’s not only a fun way to relive this new version of Mulan, but it even expands the story with moments you won’t find in the film. If you’re a Mulan fan, I recommend checking it out.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.